4 Lung Cancer Myths You Need to Know

A report from World Health Organization (WHO) shows that lung cancer caused the largest number of cancer related deaths in 2018. That is, lung cancer was responsible for 18.4 percent (1.8 million) of the total deaths.

But people have delayed going for diagnosis and treatment because of the stigma associated with this cancer type.

In a bid to overcome the stigma, it’s first, important to address the common myths about lung cancer.

Myth #1: Lung Cancer Can Only Affect Smokers

While a higher percentage of lung cancer patients are or were once smokers, as high as 20 percent of people who died because of lung cancer didn’t smoke or use any tobacco products before.

But it’s worth noting that smokers are up to thirty times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.

People who quit smoking have a reduced risk of getting lung cancer than if they keep on smoking. However, their risk is higher than for those who haven’t smoked before.

Myth #2: Non-Smokers Can’t Develop Lung cancer

Studies have revealed that secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. Tobacco is the main risk factor for the cancer, but there are other risk factors as well.

For example, exposure to radiation, radon, and other industrial chemicals for long, can increase your risk of getting lung cancer.

Myth #3: Those without Symptoms Shouldn’t Worry about Lung Cancer

The symptoms of lung cancer vary from one individual to the other.

The symptoms may take years to form, and won’t manifest until the cancer is at a much developed stages, which makes it hard to treat effectively.

At times, the symptoms may resemble those of other illnesses such as cold, pneumonia, or allergies. This may lead to a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis.

So, if you experience some of the following common lung cancer symptoms, talk to the doctor right away:

  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue that won’t go away
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Coughing that won’t just end
  • Coughing up blood

Myth #4: There’s No Hope for Those with Lung Cancer

While doctors discover most cases of lung cancer in their advanced stages, there are treatment options to help manage the symptoms.

Other than chemotherapy, modern treatment options like immunotherapy and targeted therapy have been used to improve survival benefits.

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